NOT all scented plants waft their scents freely or widely and if you fail to plant them where they can be encountered and enjoyed, you may forget they are there at all.
It is imperative therefore to ensure that all those with good winter perfume are placed near paths or well-trodden garden thoroughfares, otherwise their scent will go unheeded.
Of course, some fragrances are easily transmitted by the slightest zephyrs, especially varieties of the wonderful family of Witch hazel (Hamamelis mollis), also my favourite evergreen Daphne sold as Jacqueline Postil.
Their perfume can be detected from quite a distance but with these plants, it always pays to remember where the regular winds come from in winter.
It is poor economics to present your neighbour with the full benefit of a delicious scent (for which you have paid with in cash and patience) while you yourself do without.
Just now, an exquisite perfume is rising from many of the winter-flowering, fragrant viburnums, and these are truly ideal shrubs for stationing beside well frequented corners.
They are upright in structure and habit, flowering freely all along strongly ascending branches.
It is hard not to stop and savour fully the perfume of Viburnum farreri during any mild spells which arrive during December continuing through to early March.
When encountered, their pink-budded, white flowers present themselves at nosegay level as if to exclaim ‘please come over and smell me’.
The hybrid between V. grandiflorumand V. farreri is even more suitable for close inspection and acquaintance.
Sold under the name Viburnum bodanntense‘Dawn’, it deserves more recognition by the horny-handed as well as newcomers to gardening.
All would do well to remember that perfumed winter plants were in the past widely grown because they thoroughly deserved to be, and not just because they were easy to grow and even easier to source.
The milder the climate, the more delight can be had from winter fragrances.
Most scented winter flowers will always appear when there is a significant period with raised temperatures and little frost.
This is also why some pollinating insects slip out from hibernation for a mid-winter snack as it were, but whatever the reason, the milder the climate, the more delight can be had from winter fragrances.
When planting any of the above-mentioned wonders, try to provide shelter from freezing winds.
Warmth from the nearby house and perhaps a light overhead canopy (planting beneath a small, lightly crowned tree) will also help minimize the effects of radiation frost and allow flowering to continue unblemished.